Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds, Ylthari's Guardians

Painting Ylthari’s Guardians with Contrast Paints

Hey Folks! Thought I’d take a stab at this ‘Painting Revolution’ of Contrast paints and give them a go. Now, I’ll preface this by saying that I’m not the best painter. I can do tabletop standard fine and go through the Base – Shade – Layer – Highlight steps but that is where my enthusiasm for painting ends.

Typically I’ll spend around an hour or two per model. For example my Dreadfane Warband, Ironsoul’s Sequitors, has taken probably seven hours so far as I’ve been putting more care into them and using the ‘standard’ way of painting.

I’ve been watching these Contrast Paints from the sidelines and have been keen to try them out. So I popped down to my Local Gaming Store and grabbed a can of Wraithbone, Gryph-Charger Grey and Cygor Brown with the intent of getting Ylthari’s Guardians painted in as short a time as possible. I’d like to have got some Wyldwood but they were sold out!

Step One: Wraithbone Basecoat (2mins)

So I prepared Ylthari’s Guardians and took them out to be blasted with the rattlecan, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to cover the models with the new paint! I’ll be using Gallaghan as my test subject in this little experiment.

Step Two: Cygor Brown Layer (17mins)

The paint went on easily and I was able to get good coverage in a short space of time. I took the picture a little too prematurely as when left for longer to dry the brown DID begin to look more highlighted. I was a little nervous for the next paint as it was a new colour and I wanted to use Aethermatic Blue but it was out of stock! They hype for this paint is real!!

Step Three: Gryph-Charger Grey (7mins)

Wow. This stuff went on quickly and easily. I am massively impressed by these lighter colours. When they have dried full they look absolutely stunning and Contrast paints for doing these ethereal style models will become common place at tournaments!

Step 4: The Base (15mins)

For the final step to make this miniature ‘Battle Ready’ I painted the base in the traditional way. Base – Shade – Drybrush. I’ll go back in and ensure the base gets the TLC it deserves as it looks unfinished to my eyes. But all in all I’m pretty chuffed with the time taken on this.

Total Time: 41~ minutes

Have you pre-ordered the Contrast colours? Let me know in the comments which project you’ll be using Contrast in.

Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds

5 Cards I Think Will Get Restricted

Hey Trophy Hunters! Now that we’ve seen all the cards Season Two has to offer here are the Top 5 Cards I think will get Restricted.

5. Tome of Offerings

This needs little explanation. It’s a win-more card, but as it’s an upgrade you’re pretty stoked to apply. In the current Grand Clash ranking system seeing this card can make or break your tournament. Getting a large positive Glory Differential will see you rise above all the other undefeated players to secure a spot in the final. For factions that don’t focus on killing this is purely a negative experience as they won’t benefit the gain, but will suffer the losses.

4. Well of Power

The inspiration requirement is nice, it keeps Vortemis & Ylthari grounded with this Upgrade. Stormsire, however, abuses this Upgrade to high Hell! If I told you that you could upgrade your leader to have a Range 3, 3 Smash, 2DMG attack you’d play it. Inspiring him is easy with the number of good Gambit Spells in the pool, and this only makes them easier to cast once inspired! It also functions as an accuracy boost and the restricted list hasn’t looked too kindly on them in the past!

3. Sphere of Aqshy

Trap, Pit Trap and Twist the Knife are all Restricted for a reason. They are unavoidable damage cards. Sphere of Aqshy fits that bill if you ask me. Especially since it is cast on a single Channel, if this were a single Focus I’d be less aggrieved but as it is any level 2 wizard can cast this and expect it to go off around 90% of the time, deal 1 dmg from 4 hexes away and it Inspires Stormsire. OH this also counts for Sorcerous Scouring and Death From Afar if you can take a fighter out of action with it. Can they use any defensive tech? Can they heck, this is a Gambit Spell not some common Ploy or Attack Action…

  • Last Chance,
  • Rebound,
  • Soul Trap,
  • Tethered Spirit,
  • Grimnir’s Blessing,
  • Unkillable,
  • On Your Feet,
  • Dark Destiny,
  • Rebirth in Blood.

Your life saving efforts are no match for a hungry fireball.

2. Inspiration Strikes

Inspire Conditions are fun and push a warband to play in a certain way. Orruks want to get into a fight, Cursebreakers want to cast spells, Mollog needs to get angry. However, when you can subvert the designer’s requirements to Inspire and gain access to your upgraded abilities without a negative or ignoring a playstyle then the game can suddenly spiral out of control. Regal Vision still exists as a replacement but requires an objective hex which adds a much needed restriction to the freedom this card gives.

1. Calculated Risk

Just read it. Move actions are part of Charge Actions; you’ll score this immediately after the Move Action part wich allows you to draw a new objective before making your Attack Action. So you could draw into Strong Start, What Armour? or any of the score immediately objectives triggered off of an attack.

This is basically an unrestricted substitute for Change of Tactics that scores in an advantageous timing step. Hyper reliable and no interaction with the opponent is needed. Every deck except Thorns of the Briar Queen should run this objective.

Posted in Card/Board Reviews

Getting Board!

We’ve had the Forbidden Chambers board pack out for a while now, and I’ve begun to realise something. Whenever I’ve won a board roll off 90% of the time I’m using this board…

Annoyingly the scanner cut off half of the hexes along the left side!

…it has fantastic set up potential whether you’re the aggressor or the defender. For a well written article determining which role you should take check out this Magic the Gathering resource by Star City Games.

Let’s take a look at some of the common set ups that I’ve been using, and I’ve seen players using to good effect.

Aggressive Set Up

So, you’ve chosen to play an aggressive warband or deck – you’ve won the roll off and you’re opponent puts down a decent first board pick; the Soul Refractor. With three single blocked hexes and starting hexes generally pretty evenly spread it’s a good all-rounder. Then you whack out the Amber Forbidden Chambers Board aka Chasmatic Amphitheatre and set up like this…

…pow! You’ve got four fighters up in their grill and if you have speed 3 (sorry guard & dwarves) then you can reach all but two fighters in the opponent’s territory! You also have the bonus of starting someone on an edge hex to utilise hidden paths. If you’re the aggressor this board lets you flood into the opponent’s half fast!

Defensive Set Up

Okay. You’ve seen the one-dimensional set up for using the board aggressively, and it’s a good set up, but what I love this board for is it’s defensive uses. You can use it as a good long board OR diagonal deployment. Now, assuming your opponent is wise to your tricks and plays the Arcane Nexus to give themselves the best opportunity to get close to you in a long board deployment – well – let’s see how it fares up:

Seamless edit job to add in the missing hexes…

Yuck! If you want to safely traverse this board then it would take 7 hexes of movement just to get adjacent to an opposing model, assuming that they stand still and don’t push you back. Heck, even if your opponent is using a 7 model warband you’ll normally only have the option to hit a single model in turn one, unless you’re super fast! Okay – that’s pretty cool – I hear you say. But, this is not the boards BEST use if you need to sit back and hide…

Whilst the distance is less in this instance, only six hexes away – watch out for Riptooth with Spectral Wings or Skritch – this board lets you spread your fighters out forcing even more distance to be covered by the opponent if they want to go after your fighters. You deploy in a position where anyone can use Hidden Paths AND can score Skirting Danger if you’re after some passive glory. Or if you’re a larger seven model warband then you still only concede one model to be taken out in turn one!!

Is this a problem board?

If you take the time to get your boards out and lay them out in the diagonal layout, where you choose the orientation of the opponent’s board, there isn’t a bad line up for this amber board. The lack of a starting hex in the corner with the lethal hexes allows it to be used hyper defensively. Besides drawing spectral wings/hidden paths in turn one I’m not entirely sure how to go about initiating a fight in turn one if you’re playing as the aggressor and aren’t Mollog.

Have you been using this board?

Let me know in the comments if you’ve been using this board frequently or have had it used against you. Personally I feel that this board is getting an inordinate amount of play time and its definitely on my watch list of potential imbalance!

Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds

5 Older Gambits You’re Going to See More

Thanks to Paul Howard for this article suggestion!

With the release of Mollog’s Mob & Godsworn Hunt the meta has been shook up! New threats are aplenty; be it the ferocity of Mollog or the flexibility of the Servants of Darkness! To help answer these new threats (and new neutral cards that come with them) we might see a return of some older cards! (Make note – they’re so powerful they’re generally 50/50)

Frozen in Time – Farstrider Expansion

Ah. Frozen in Time. A staple of decks in the States (or at least Claim the City Podcast say so) has definitely risen in value since the one-troggoth wrecking crew is proving particularly powerful. Roll that dice and on a Smash or Crit and you’ve potentially stalled your opponent for an entire turn, known as a Time Warp.

Time Warp: The idea of a change in the measurement of time, in which people and events from one part of history are imagined as existing in another part.

By preventing your opponent from executing their plan with a singularly powerful model (Magore, Fjul, Gurzag, Stormsire, Mollog) they can effectively have a null and void turn. We only have 12 activations, Turn 1 is jockeying for position, Turn 2 is execution of the plan, Turn 3 is about wrapping it up. If you can freeze a big threat in Turn 2 then they may not even get to execute their plan if yours has gone well!

Cruel Taunt – Ironskull’s Boyz Expansion

Being Inspired is golden (bad’um tss). You get better stats and unlock objectives such as Fired Up & Shining Example. If you can remove that option from an enemy model then you put yourself in good stead. Uninspiring Snirk leave the Moonclan Grots without their ‘heavy hitter’, Stormcast lose access to their double defence dice, Grimnir probably flips the table in fury. The drawback is that in 50% of your games this won’t work and you’d probably with you’d brought Distraction to just push them away!

Shattershard – Spiteclaw’s Swarm Expansion

In the wake of the BAR List we are no longer seeing Soultrap and Tethered Spirit, replaced instead by Deathly Fortitude and Sudden Growth. There is a definite reliance on these upgrades to ensure that our models don’t die, pulling the proverbial rug out from under them and removing those +2 wounds when they’re in the danger zone already can turn the tide. You’ll get a glory for the kill and might just score something like Strong Start! The other uses that jump out are removing Tome of Offerings, Hero’s Mantle, or even something as simple as Great Speed to ensure someone stays out of range!

Forceful Denial – Sepulchral Guard Expansion

Whilst this has been growing in popularity already Forceful Denial is almost the only way to shut down an opponent’s power card in it’s track. You could play No Time but that can potentially hurt you just as much! This 50/50 can drastically alter the outcome of a game. Particularly good for stopping those cards mentioned above and things like Ready for Action, My Turn, Illusory Fighter – removing the ability to use a Restricted Card is so satisfying…

Misdirection – Ironskull’s Boyz Expansion

Play this if your gameplan revolves around having a single big model do all the work. It can keep them choppin’ or in a vital position for longer! This card was popular during the ScaredyKat days but might see a resurgence soon! It’s drawback is that it requires you to be ‘chosen by a ploy’ so it needs that specific keyword. However all the above cards DO have that so you’re pretty fortunate there. This card if very much a Chicken and Egg card – if the other cards become popular then this probably will.

What cards do you think we’ll see more of?
Let me know in the comments below:

Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds

NEW CARD in Q2 Organised Play Kit Arrived!

The Organised Play Kit for Quarter Two has arrived…still no Magore’s Fiends or Farstrider Alternate Art Cards!!

But we’ve got a teaser of an upcoming card in the new sets & magic suddenly looks like it might carve out it’s own sub-catergory playstyle in Aggro with the card Unfocused Blast:

Combined with…

Colour me excited for Mollog’s Mob & Gosworn Hunt!

Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds

What Armour?

With the recently released Ban & Restricted List putting the axe onto some of the better Score Immediately cards (Advancing/Defensive Strike & Change of Tactics) aggro players need to begin looking elsewhere for easy to score glory to get the murder engine running. If you’ve been under a rock then you may not have heard of the new hotness:

What-Armour

You don’t even need to kill your target, just cause damage to them. Brilliant! Cleave doesn’t even need to be used, this works versus models who Dodge! But who exactly takes the most advantage of this card? Well, it’s those models who have cleave printed on their card initially, then those who gain it on inspiration, then those factions that have a butt ton of Cleave Upgrades, then those models who trigger it on a Crit, and finally if you’re not included in anyone of them then you can have it via the generic upgrades. If you were to tally all those up this is how the chart would look:

On card Inspired On a Crit In-Faction Cards Generic Upgrades Total
The Farstriders 1 4 3 8
Zarbag’s Gitz 3 1 4 8
Sepulchral Guard 1 3 3 7
Thorns of the Briar Queen 2 1 4 7
Steelheart’s Champions 1 2 3 6
The Cursebreakers 1 1 4 6
Eyes of the Nine 1 1 4 6
Garrek’s Reavers 1 1 3 5
Gurzag’s Ladz 1 1 3 5
The Chosen Axes 1 1 3 5
Magore’s Fiends 1 1 3 5
Spiteclaw’s Swarm 1 3 4

So who should use What Armour?

By sheer availability of Cleave the table above gives an idea of who should be using What Armour?. But, it doesn’t put any weight on the importance of having cleave immediately available, or the playstyle you’ll likely be running.

Magore’s Fiends are ranked 2nd worst for availability of Cleave as only Magore has it natively, and Riptooth only has it on a crit. But who are the two most deadly warriors in that warband? Yup, Riptooth and Magore. So the liklihood is that the majority of your Attack & Charge Actions come from those two which makes What Armour? a very strong choice for Magore’s Fiends.

Sepulchral Guard it should go without saying but even the artwork is telling you players to use this card! It’s a fantastic score immediately, and if you’re not spending at least a single Attack Action with the Champion then you’re doing something wrong in my eyes. This works well in any Objective/Aggro/Defensive!

After those two outliers it becomes a bit more difficult to justify it’s inclusion. Cursebreakers are by no means a bad faction for this card, having Cleave natively on Rastus but they have so many good Score Immediately objectives available to them that they almost don’t need What Armour? and risk a Score Immediately bloat in their deck.

Farstriders might be a strong choice if playing an Aggro flavour, however with the B&R list in place for Organised Play it feels like their talons were removed somewhat with the loss of Trap & Pit Trap.

What do you think? Will you be including What Armour? in your deck?

Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds

Sneaky Stabbin!

To wrap up the mini-series on generic weapon Upgrades (Part 1, Part 2) we’ve got the sneaky attacks which don’t give a weapon but change the way a fighter can interact with the game. On their own they can be lacklustre and rather niche but with another upgrade backing them up they can become punishingly brilliant!

Coordinated Attack can really boost the likelihood of hitting a model if you have a lot of supporting models like Chainrasps tend to do. You’re effectively doubling down on the Support mechanic by getting more dice too! The DMG characteristic is on the low side but in the game we’re at a point where there are cards to enable kills easily. That being said I’m not a huge fan of this attack in general, take the Swordbreaker for higher all-round accuracy and the same DMG output.

Disengage gives your fighter greater mobility and can be used to harass an opponent by skirting around them. However, the DMG output is just awful and for the cost of an attack action it’s a really niche ability. Leave this one in the binder.

Low Blow kick em in the dangly bits! The attack itself is very accurate due to counting Fury and Smash as successes, but for one meagre point of damage it’s never going to get used sadly!

Swift Strike suffers from the rubbish one damage again but has a high accuracy and allows you to push yourself one hex before making the attack. Nice to increase the threat range of a charge action, but ultimately a rubbish attack action!

Touch of Death now we’re talking 3DMG is not to be sniffed at – the restriction is a little, well, restricting as you need to have a Wizard to use it, but if the attack comes off (50/50 just to hit!) then you get to place a Charge token next to the fighter you damaged which can entirely scupper an opponents turn, though if you have hit and done 3DMG you can probably kill them with Twist the Knife or Trap or Pit Trap.

Unparalleled Strike is a 50/50 to hit, but if you DO hit then it always counts as a Critical Hit! Which is essentially the same as cleave – it’s like the Ghostblade but better because it can do more DMG. Combo it with Concealed Weapon for a semi reliable 4DMG on each swing, or just take Heroslayer.

In conclusion these are BAD upgrades and I don’t recommend you take them competitively. Shadeglass Weapons are the cream of the crop with the gold medal going to the Shadeglass Dagger for it’s one-shotting capabilities.

Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds

Mo’ Weapons Mo’ Problems

Last time on the Blog I looked at a comparison between the Shadeglass and Nullstone Weapons. This time around I’m going to be going over the various weapons left in the Nightvault & Shadespire (I’ve purposefully left out the Seeking Weapons and things like Unparalleled Strike for another time). Let’s get to it!

Where to start but with the scariest, most horrifying weapon upgrade! The Heroslayer. 50% chance to hit, but if you do you’ll kill pretty much whatever you’re hitting. This is a weapon that gets left at home because of it’s unreliability, but when someone equips it you pay them very close attention! This is great on Clanrats and Sepulchral Guard, as the resurrection mechanic and Nightvault Token system allow multiple charges with this terrifying beast!

Kingsbane on the other hand is a slightly more reliable version of the Grand Daddy Heroslayer, it’s not particularly accurate hitting only 56% of the time (and critting 31%) but it can be a real boost to some of the lowly fighters warbands have to offer. If you manage to hit a Leader with it you’re liklihood of hitting increases to 70% (with crits at 42%). A half-decent choice if you’re looking to upgrade a bad fighter, though in most cases Great Strength reaches this 3DMG and you generally have better odds.

The Daemonic Weapon has been with us since the beginning of Warhammer Underworlds and boasts a good accuracy and damage output, the big drawback being that it can really put your fighters onto a low health to be taken out of action. Personally if I was looking for a 3DMG weapon I’d go with the Shadeglass Hammer or Dagger.

An interesting new weapon from the Nightvault! The Swordbreaker has an interesting special effect in that on a critical hit you can discard an opponent’s upgrade with attack action. Very useful for pulling a Shadeglass Weapon off of someone! The Attack profile itself is very good! 3 Smash is very accurate and 2DMG is not to be sniffed at. A very reliable weapon that can definitely find a place in swarm decks!

An interesting weapon! The Ghostblade effectively has Cleave and ignores Dodge as your opponent can only defend with crits. Whilst the effect makes this weapon EXTREMELY reliable the fact that the attack action can never cause more the 1DMG really hamstrings this weapon. It’s likely to be left at home.

The Ritual Dagger is a new weapon from the Nightvault and can only be wielded by those who know the sacred art of rolling magic dice. The number of dice you roll for magic is equal to the attack dice, so you max out at two here currently. For 2DMG I’d much rather have the Swordbreaker and once again we see the most corner case ability ‘on a crit this has cleave’ – This is an almost defunct ability it only ever matters if you have rolled a crit and a hit, and your opponent is rolling two defence dice on block and rolls a crit and a block. It’s basically blank text because if you get a crit then you’re pretty darn likely to be successful anyway.

Alright! Proper Cleave where it means something! The Dark Darts are a nice upgrade if you know you’ll be battling it out versus Sigmar’s finest, Chosen Axes or Magores frequently as they allow you to engage from range and have a very reliable chance of actually succeeding versus your opponent. It’s between this and the Shadeglass Darts, personally I’d choose these as they are more reliable.

The Mutating Maul is hands down one of my favourite weapons in the game, and the design space is good too! A weapon with a choice of effects; cleave or knockback. Cleave is the most likely but there are situations where knockback can be very useful. Two Smash for 2DMG with cleave is a solid attack and I’d expect to begin seeing this more frequently as it is a nice pairing for What Armour?

Parrying-Blade

To finish up this article a delightful upgrade that turns basically any fighter into Angharad Brightshield. The parrying blade is a good upgrade, it might not make it into every deck but not being able to be pushed back on a failed attack is good and getting to make the reaction of your own attack (which can be influenced by Great Strength) in your opponent’s activation phase to soften them up before you take a swing in your own is a bonus!

What would you like to see next? Have I missed any of the generic attacks? Let me know in the commets!

Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds

Nullstone or Shadeglass?

We’ve been treated to a whole heap of new weapons when we opened the Nightvault – Nullstone weapons. How do these differ from Shadeglass Weapons? Which should you pick? Is one plain better than another? Let’s set off with two very comparable sets of darts.

Both of these offer a great amount of Ranged threat with three hexes and a reasonable accuracy; hitting 70% of the time and critting 42%. Now against a Wizard the Nullstone Darts are far more accurate hitting 80% of the time and critting 52%.

Where the big trade off in these upgrade lies is that the Damage output of the Shadeglass Darts is far superior to the Nullstone Darts, since they provide 2DMG on a Critical Hit.
If you can only take one, take Shadeglass Darts.

The swords offer a high accuracy attack for a middling damage result, as we see Shadeglass Weapons do additional damage on a Critical Hit and Nullstone become more accurate versus Wizards, we now begin to see the drawback of Shadeglass weapons; when they successfully damage an opponent they are discarded.

Both weapons offer a base 88% chance to score a single hit and again 42% chance to hit a Critical Hit. Note that the Nullstone Sword does not get discarded and can be utilised again and again by a fighter who’s base attack might be a bit rubbish Chainrasps, Petitioners, Danglebros etc. because of this the Nullstone Sword take the biscuit here.

The big hitter of the Shadeglass arsenal, the Shadeglass Hammer hits for 3DMG, and when it hits a crit (31%) it does 4DMG – which is danger zone for nearly every model in the game, coupled with a single effect like Pit Trap, Twist the Knife and Trap this weapon doesn’t even need a crit to kill it’s target. If it is discarded after a kill, that is a fine trade in my opinion.

The Nullstone Hammer on the other hand lacks the weight behind the Shadeglass Hammer and only hits for 2DMG, but gains Knockback 1. We’re yet to see Knockback be used widely in the game, however it can be situationaly useful for setting up additional attacks from another model.

Due to the sheer killing potential and the fear models have when this hammer is brought into play the Shadeglass Hammer wins this one.

This is an extremely interesting comparison as we have essentially four profiles to dissect. The melee attacks are the same bar the native benefits and negatives to Shadeglass and Nullstone, if this were the only attack then I’d give the accolade of ‘winner’ to the Nullstone but we also have the beautiful ranged attack option to consider.

Range Three attack actions are rare. Ones that do two damage are rarer. Now, the option to throw your axe is one not to be made lightly because you’ll never be able to use it again but if it hits what are the benefits? The Nullstone Axe does a meagre 1DMG, never throw this away unless it’s a clutch damage or can be combed with some other Damage Modifier (Gloryseeker or Trap etc.) whereas the Shadeglass Axe does 2DMG base and can crit hit (31%) to do three damage, and still benefits from the same Damage Modifiers.

Personal Choice wins this one. I would prefer the ability to nail someone for 3DMG from three hexes away with the Shadeglass Axe but I can also appreciate the security of not having your weapon smash once it’s done damage.

Aren’t we missing some?

Correct! We are ‘missing’ a Nullstone Dagger and a Nullstone Spear. The Shadeglass Dagger has cemented itself as the ultimate assasin’s weapon as you desperately search for Crits (42%) to do 4DMG, I don’t see a Nullstone Dagger replacing this anytime soon unless it guarantees 3DMG but the trend has been to reduce DMG by 1 in the trade for not being discarded.

The Shadeglass Spear isn’t always seen in the most competitive decklists (that spot is reserved for the Dagger & Hammer) even though it boasts a threat extension and a pretty reliable Attack action. If the Nullstone Spear does 2DMG base then I can see it being taken in every deck, if it only does 1DMG then I don’t think it’ll break into the trim decks

What about Heroslayer, Kingslayer etc.

It didn’t seem right to include them in this article as they are a bit of a law unto themselves but I will look into those upgrade options in a future blog post.